Phil Angelides Meets Muslim
Community in Sacramento
By Zaki Syed
to right: Phil Angelides, Hamza El Nakhal, Osama Hassoon
and Rashid Ahmad
used to be a dream. It was the American dream, of success,
equality, and justice for all. The same dream that captured
the imagination of all those who were living in the land of
Pakistan, and every night they would dream of a place called
America. Day by day, month-by-month, year-by-year they struggled,
studied, and saved up very last penny that they had until
they landed on US soil. For a couple years it seemed like
heaven - better education, opportunities, and a vast array
of jobs. Then that little heaven came to a screeching halt,
as we watched our twin towers being leveled down by two airplanes.
9/11 brought many changes, and left many Pakistanis and Muslims
surprised as they were unjustly blamed and discriminated in
the aftermath of September 11. It was a time to stand up for
one’s right, a chance to get involved and dispel stereotypes.
Despite this, with the exception of a few, most of the Pakistanis/Muslims
retreated back into their comfort zone and refused to come
community always complains when there is discrimination,”
said local businessman/activist Osama Hassoon, “However,
when it is time to educate others or make them aware they
(Pakistani/Muslim community) seem to shy away.”
Shying away is no longer an option. The few Muslims in the
city of Sacramento realized this and decided to get involved.
Muhammad Mohanna, prominent real estate developer and Board
of trustee at UC Davis had this to say, “As new Americans
… it is our duty and responsibility to participate in
the political climate and make a difference”. With that
resolve they stepped out and hosted a fundraiser for one of
the decision makers: Phil Angelides.
Angelides with loyal supporters (above) and Pakistan
Link’s reporter (below)
Angelides is the current treasurer for the State of California,
and is running against Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor.
Phil Angelides got involved in politics so that he could give
the immigrants a helping hand.
“He (Angelides) is a friend of immigrants, and we are
all touched by his stand on immigration,” said local
Pakistani community leader Rashid Ahmad. Angelides grew up
in a household of immigrants. His father was from Greece,
and his mother was born in Egypt.
“My mother became a citizen when I was ten years old,”
said Angelides “She brought with her a richness of the
culture.” Angelides says that Americans, immigrants
and non-immigrants make up one another. Angelides is for the
civil liberties of all Americans, and feels this is why the
upcoming election is so important. “A lot of people
are counting on us to win, people of all different places,
races, and faiths are counting on us to win,” said Angelides.
He also expressed his hope of contributing to the success
of the Pakistani community and of having their support.
Phil Angelides is more than willing to take a stand in order
to defend Pakistani/Muslim civil liberties. However, the more
important question is: Are we as a community willing to work
hard to achieve the true meaning of the American Dream? Unless
we as a community get involved, the American Dream will be
just what it means, a Dream.
A lot of people are counting on us, our children/grandchildren
who will grow up in America, and the people we left behind
in our homeland, the immigrants that continue to dream of
coming to the US. We owe it to them, and we owe it to ourselves
to get involved. So get active, vote, join political organizations,
peace rallies, and do whatever it takes for Muslims/Pakistanis
to have a voice in mainstream America.
Civil liberties and rights aren’t given away, they have
to be earned. Fight for your rights!